Iowa author, historian has booth at state fair – offering free magazines with new subscriptions

Thursday, August 12th, 2010 | Iowa History Journal

Mike Chapman, a well-known Iowa author and public speaker, will be appearing Aug. 12-22 at the Iowa State Fair, in the Iowa History Journal booth in the Ralph H. Diets Historical Museum. He will have copies of the magazine Iowa History Journal and many of his 22 books for sale.

A native of Waterloo, Chapman retired from a 35-year newspaper career in 2002 to devote his time to writing books. Among his published books are Lowell Park, a novel about Ronald Reagan as a lifeguard in Dixon, Illinois, in the summer of 1932, and Gotch: An American Hero, the story of the Humboldt, Iowa, native who was world heavyweight wrestling champion from 1908 to 1915.

The movie rights to both books have been sold to Empire Film Group, a film company based in Los Angeles, and are in pre-production. Lowell Park is tentatively set to begin shooting in the spring of 2011.

Another popular book by Chapman is Achilles: Son of Peleus, Scourge of Troy, which is about the hero of the Trojan War, fought over 3,000 years ago on the coast of Asia Minor. Chapman visited the site of the Trojan War in 2006, a trip that was featured in the Des Moines Register Traveler section on June 24, 2007.

Chapman is also a recognized authority on the sport of wrestling. He created the International Wrestling Institute and Museum in Newton in 1998 and was its executive director for over a decade. He has written 14 books about the sport of wrestling, and is a member of six wrestling halls of fame.

He has appeared on various television shows and networks, including A&E, ESPN, Fox and Friends, Fox Sports and Iowa Public Television. He has been a guest on over 200 radio talk shows.

Chapman began publishing Iowa History Journal in January of 2009. The magazine features stories about famous Iowans and events and is sent to every public and high school library in the state. It is also sold in most Hy Vee stores and by subscription.

The magazine is published six times a year. Anyone who signs up for a year’s subscription at the Iowa State Fair will receive a free copy of the premier issue, with Nile Kinncik on the cover.

“The first issue quickly sold out and readers have been clamoring for it to be re-printed for over a year,” said Chapman. “We recently printed a very limited number that are on sale for $10 each, but we are giving them away, while they last, with new subscribers who sign up at the state fair.”

Chapman and his wife, Bev, will be at the Iowa History Journal booth in the Deets Museum from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., each day from August 12-22.

For more information, call Iowa History Journal at 641-791-3072 or check the web site at


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